As Covid-19 tightened its grip around us, the initial few days felt surreal, as though we were living a sci-fi Hollywood movie. Anxiety and gloom took over as we were forced into a lockdown situation. Days passed and we started getting used to this new normal. A month into the lockdown in India now, the number of positive cases have risen but we have started talking about flattening the curve. We may see a gradual easing out of the lockdown soon.
While I desperately want the lockdown to end, a part of me sadistically wants this to continue – my love for Mother Nature makes me blind.
As I had written before, the lockdown hasn’t changed my life drastically. Certain changes did happen, which is but natural. However, some people have been drastically affected by the lockdown. I will not go into the stories of the migrant workers, the daily wage earners, and others like them. Their sufferings are beyond my comprehension. I have never experienced their fears and apprehensions. I can only imagine. The images and stories that I have seen and read have given me sleepless nights. I feel ill-equipped to write about them. Hence, let me stick to the impact of lockdown on people like me – the privileged lot, for whom the lockdown has been a rather luxurious one.
Many are struggling with issues like insomnia, binge eating, binge Netflix, etc. Many are struggling with being unable to maintain a routine. Many are struggling with serious issues of isolation, loneliness, depression, panic attacks and anxiety disorders. Again, contrary to this, many are jostling for some personal space in the confinement of the four walls of their small flats. I had read somewhere about the importance of having a balcony during the pandemic and I had thought to myself – well, how true that is!
Psychological disorders are a serious issue in metro cities, like Bangalore. Many of us live alone and are far away from family and home. Added to that is the stress of living in unplanned and chaotic cities. There are many people affected in some way or the other, the number is much more than we think. Some are open, most are not. If you have ever tried to get an appointment with a psychologist, you would know what I am talking about. The pandemic is only making it worse for this vulnerable group of people. I personally know people who would deliberately go for regular workouts to the gym or would regularly run/jog. Their only intention would be to keep stress and anxiety at bay. While some of them are finding alternatives in their homes by resorting to things like weightlifting, skipping, etc. others are struggling to find an outlet.
Several others are silently suffering – people stuck up with their abusive partners, abusive in-laws; caregivers of the sick and the elderly who aren’t able to take a break; people caught up in sexual abuse within the four walls of their homes; people facing mental and emotional tortures from their family members; and innumerable other situations.
Well, this is not what I was planning to write today. I had intended to write about some things that I have personally enjoyed during this month-long lockdown, but this post just took off in another direction.
Shall continue in the next post….